Looking for answers to the questions most frequently asked by travellers to China?
You’ll find them here!
Travelling to China for the first time can be daunting so check out our answers to the questions we’re asked most often and get ready to make your own beautiful travel memories.
After designing tours for decades, we’re big believers in planning ahead and talking to the right people.
We also understand any time spent travelling is precious and have designed our tours to optimise every moment you’re on the road. Our decades of experience of designing tours means we know:
- The best sites to see and when
- The ideal way to travel
- How you can experience the real China
While many things can be organised online and via email, we’re fans of talking to our guests, even before they arrive. It’s why every ChinaTours.com tour starts with a conversation. Talk to one of our experienced China travel experts if you’re thinking of travel to China. Tell us what you want to see, and we’ll work with you to design more than a tour; we’ll help you create a beautiful travel memory.
China is an exotic and interesting place. For newcomers especially, it can be a bit daunting.
Discovering China with a custom, small group or private tour offers many benefits to travellers. Apart from the interesting people you meet, there are other advantages: a guide to show you around, planned visits to attractions, less waiting in queues, pre-arranged pick ups and drop offs, no guesswork around accommodation and transport.
While independent travel might seem like it has more freedom, the structure of an organised tour with a China travel specialist allows you to really enjoy every aspect of your trip, worry-free.
Talk to one of our friendly team who’ll help plan your China tour from start to finish.
Part of ChinaTours.com’s uniqueness is the flexibility we offer travellers through our choice of tour types.
Private – Our private tours are based on providing a flexible travel option for those adventurers wanting to take one of our tours, but with a private group. Your private group might include you and your family, friends, or even work colleagues. With the ability to tailor a private tour to your group’s specific interests, ChinaTours.com will help create your own beautiful travel memories that last long after you’ve arrived home.
Group – Our group tours have a small group focus, with each one based on what we know people want to see while visiting China. Effectively a selection of ‘the best of the best’, on a group tour you will travel with like-minded explorers. Tours are scheduled around fixed departure and arrival dates. Comparatively, pricing for group tours makes them a cost effective option for people who want to stay longer and experience more of the real China.
Custom – A custom tour is one designed specifically for you. Offering complete exclusivity, you will be provided private guides and drivers. All tour details, including the itinerary, hotels, and any other specific tour details are customised for you. Arrival and departure dates are based around your schedule requirements.
ChinaTours.com offers even more flexibility with its superior and luxury standards, that accommodate different budgets and tastes.
Superior level means during your stay you’ll enjoy accommodation with international brand 4-star hotels. Our Superior tour hotel partners include Grand Mercure, Novotel, and Sheraton.
If you’re planning to make your trip to China a special one, you may invest in the Luxury tour option. All our Luxury hotel providers are well recognised 5 star international brand hotels, such as Hyatt, Regent, Sofitel.
It is also possible to interchange superior and luxury hotels within a single tour, if you have a preference for doing so.
Our China tour experts can help finesse every detail of your tour.
Language should never prevent an explorer from discovering new places.
It’s why every one of our guides speaks fluent English and Mandarin, the main language spoken in China.
Our tour guides are required to pass exams from China’s National Tourism Administration before receiving a licence, so you can be confident the standard of English spoken by ChinaTours.com tour guides is internationally accepted. We’re also able to provide guides who speak other foreign languages in major cities, such as Beijing, Shanghai and Xian.
During your tour, you will have direct access to your guide 24/7, providing peace of mind that if any issues arise, they’ll be ready to take care of every detail.
Our tours are designed to be flexible, but you might be surprised to find out how flexible they really are.
Some explorers like to travel independently, but every now and then, it’s great to connect in with a group. That’s exactly what ChinaTours.com offers.
Flexible travel options mean you can join a group tour for only part of it, so long as your travel arrangements align to the tour schedule you want to join.
Got questions? No problem. Speak with one of our friendly travel consultants who can guide you in the right direction.
ChinaTours.com also offers flexibility when it comes to accommodation options.
Even if you are taking tour with us, you can make your own accommodation arrangements. We will simply adjust the tour price accordingly.
Because we want you to love your real China experience from start to finish, we can even arrange accommodation for you before and after the tour.
No it doesn’t!
Everyone likes to shop for and collect mementos from their travels, but at ChinaTours.com, we feel people shouldn’t be forced to shop at outlets where store owners, travel agencies and tour guides receive a commission. We’re independent tour operators and this allows us to show you the ‘best of’ at every destination. For us, this is important, because it gives you the most authentic experience of China.
Many tour operators design tour packages around shopping. They do this because their tour guides and drivers receive commissions for taking tourists to particular shopping destinations.
We proudly stand by our policy of no-commission based shopping tours. We can do this because all our tour guides, drivers and consultants are paid a wage, not commissions.
Our tours are designed to showcase the very best and most interesting sites, landscapes and experiences China has to offer. We couldn’t do that if we had to force travellers into a limited range of destinations, stores or restaurants/
What does this mean for you?
It means our tours are designed to give you the best tour and most culturally enriching experience when you’re visiting China. It means we never take you to the hidden or undisclosed tour stops or factory stores where the commission will be collected on purchases you make.
Yes, you can shop, but you shop where you choose; not where the tour guide tells you.
One of the joys of travel is experiencing the food and culture of your new destination.
China offers many diverse food options and we want you to experience as many as possible while on tour with us. For this reason, we provide our customers with freedom and choice when it comes to food.
Unless indicated, our tour package pricing is provided exclusive of meals. One of the reasons our tours are so popular is that you’re not limited to tour-only restaurants with food options that don’t create an authentic experience of China.
The benefit to you? You choose the food!
We have decades of experience of taking guests on tour and we’ve found this approach is one of the best ways to enrich your experience of China. Our guides will share their insider knowledge of what’s best locally and take you to any restaurant you want. You just need to ask.
Want to enjoy restaurants the locals love? No problem. Let us take you there.
We understand travel to China is a sizeable investment.
It’s why we offer a range of flexible payment options.
Payment is accepted via major credit cards, PayPal,Western Union and direct bank transfer. When making your booking, be sure to speak with our friendly travel consultants about which option suits you best.
ChinaTours.com tours are focused on bringing premium quality tours to travellers wanting to experience real China.
Each tour has been individually designed to offer maximum value and create an enriching travel experience. Having spent decades creating travel memories, we’ve learned that people want to make the most of their time while in China. To help them enjoy the most fulfilling travel experience, every ChinaTours.com tour includes:
- A choice of luxury and superior accommodation at five and four star hotels.
- Centrally located hotels found in the central district of every destination, allowing you to optimise your travel time.
- Late departure times so you never have to fit in with pre-dawn travel requirements and lose precious tour time recuperating.
- Flexibility around tour preferences, allowing you to add other full and part tours onto your travel plans.
A discount policy is offered for children under 12 years. Depending on the size of your private group tour, price reductions may apply. Speak with one of our friendly travel consultants to understand how you can enjoy the best value while travelling with us.
Travellers to China will require a visa.
Although we’re not able to assist with this service, we provide an invitation letter for a visa application to every traveller joining us on of our tours.
Entry visas to China are issued prior to departure, and should be sourced from the embassy in your country of origin. Keep in mind if you are leaving and re-entering China, it will be necessary to ensure this is reflected in your visa.
We are able to assist with visas for other countries, providing you have booked a tour with us.
If you require help with any other travel in China, we can help.
Providing you are taking a tour with us while in China, we can attend to other travel arrangements not linked to our tours, including:
- Domestic flights
- Bullet train travel
- Hotel accommodation
- Tickets to entertainment and shows.
We all want to avoid emergencies while travelling, but from time to time, they do happen.
As a first point of contact in a non-life threatening emergency, tour participants can contact their ChinaTours.com tour guide.
Over and above this support, we encourage all travellers to obtain travel insurance priori to departure. While on the ground in China, call the following numbers:
110 for police
120 for an ambulance
Procedures for entering China include a health check, frontier inspection, custom declaration, and security check.
Every visitor requires:
- Valid passports, visas, certificates or other related documents.
- “Entry Card”, usually dispatched on aircrafts or vessels right before arriving at border of China. This form is completed at the Frontier Inspection Station.
- For those with items to declare, the declaration form is to be completed before passing customs.
- It is possible that Chinese Customs’ representatives will perform an inspection on arrival.
All travellers to China must comply with entry regulations. If you have more questions, we recommend visiting the website for the Chinese embassy in your country of origin.
Most hotels will offer free wi-fi, however if you don’t wish to pay hotel rates, there are numerous internet cafes at which wi-fi can be sourced. Service rates vary between locations and providers, but if you have any questions, you need only ask your tour guide for help.
Be aware that Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media websites aren’t accessible in China yet. It is advisable that you seek an alternative email service provider prior to departure to avoid any communication issues while on tour.
As a destination that might be vastly different to your own.
The following tips are worth following if you want to stay well while on tour:
- Drink only boiled or bottled water as tap water
- Avoid street vendor food
- Only eat completely cooked food
- Do not handle animals to prevent the risk of rabies
- Do not swim in rivers or lakes to avoid schistosomiasis (a parasitic disease)
No special vaccinations are required for travel to China unless the traveler is coming from a yellow fever infected area. In general, it is advisable to follow the advice of the World Health Organization to have some vaccinations in advance.
If you are travelling to rural or remote areas, it is wise to seek the advice of a specialist travel doctor who can help identify your specific vaccination needs.
Major credit cards, such as Visa, Master, Diners club, AMEX and JCB card from Japan, are widely accepted in China. Note, this applies to large shopping malls, stores, hotels and restaurants.
In small specialist shops, in small towns and remote areas, cash is the preferred payment method.
Traveler’s cheques may be cashed in major banks, however they are not accepted as a way of payment at any other places.
In terms of phone coverage, mobile communication is available via 2G and 3G data networks
The three major mobile service suppliers in China are China Telecom, China Mobile and China Unicom. SIM cards can be purchased at any service booths, outlets of these suppliers and cell phone stores, once you’ve provided identification and paid for phone credit. All phone numbers are 11 digits. Phone credit can be accessed by recharging online or at convenience stores. Follow the signs, and if you’re confused, be sure to ask for help.